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Beneath The Surface Of Masters: Graham Short

The Masters Hub continues to look deeper into the lives and personalities at the heart of the UK Masters swimming and aquatics community through our ‘Beneath The Surface’ feature.

Look out for video interviews as well as some fantastic underwater photos courtesy of GB Swimstars.

Our second feature is with micro-artist and Birmingham Masters swimmer Graham Short.

When did you become a Masters swimmer?

I’ve been swimming since I was about 13 and a Masters swimmer since I was 40.

How often and for how long do you train?

I swim twice a day every day and swim between 4,000 and 8,000 metres a day.

How do you spend your time when you aren’t in the pool?

I’m an artist, selling in galleries around the world. I’m the only person in the world producing micro-engraving on such a scale.

I work from midnight to 5:00 am to avoid vibration from passing traffic. I work under a large medical microscope and wear a stethoscope to monitor my heart, then engrave between heartbeats.

What are your favourite competitions and events?

My favourite competition is Nationals at Ponds Forge, Sheffield. My favourite events are the 1500m Free, 100m Fly and 200m Fly.

What is the highest level you have competed at?

I was European champion in 200m Butterfly and I hold individual British and European record and relay world records.

What do you love about swimming?

Meeting lots of interesting people who enjoy the ups and downs of competing.

What do you hate about swimming?

I don’t hate anything, but I’m not happy when I do a poor swim… which is more often the older I get!

What are you most proud of in your swimming?

Winning the European Championships in Mallorca and setting a new European record at the same time for 200m Butterfly.

What are you most proud of out of the water?

I produced the smallest portrait of HM the Queen. It is on the head of a gold pin.

I am now working on producing the smallest piece of art ever seen. I’m engraving Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘The Last Supper’ along the sharp edge of a razor blade. It will take about nine months.

  • Click here to find out how you can get involved with Masters swimming.